Love makes the world go around; love also makes you gift the most extravagant things to the one you love, be that your partner, your friend, your child or parent. People tend to spend more when it comes to buying gifts for the ones they love. History is witness to this fact. Here’s a list of the most expensive gifts in the world, from the least expensive to the most expensive.
10. Victoria Beckham’s Bag
David Beckham gifted Victoria Beckham a rare diamond-studded bag of which only three are made in a year. The Silver Himalayan, as the bag is called, was a Christmas present from David Beckham to his beloved wife. The bag is made out of fine white crocodile leather and has a 3-carat diamond on the lock. Victoria Beckham has several top end designer bags gifted to her by her husband, the total value of which would be over USD $ 3 million.
Cost: The bag cost Beckham a whopping USD $129,000, a sum that can buy a home in several places in the world.
9. Beth Ostrosky’s Engagement Ring from Howard Stern
Sirius radio megastar Howard Stern designed the 5.2-carat emerald-cut engagement ring that he gifted to his girlfriend Beth Ostrosky on Valentine’s Day 2007. The couple married on October 3, 2008. Ostrosky’s ring recently came in at #2 in the list of biggest celebrity engagement rings, with the number 1 position taken by Rebecca Romijn’s 6-carat sparkler ring that was gifted to her by actor Jerry O’Connell.
Cost: The ring is valued at over $250,000.
8. King Abdullah’s Gifts to President Obama
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah made an elaborate show of cooperation and courtesy by bestowing USD 300,000 worth upon US President Barrack Obama of jewelry, rare books and other items, during the President’s first year of presidency. This princely gift exceeds normal bounds of courtesy. It is considered the most expensive gift given by one ruler to another in recent times.
Of this generous gift is a set of luxury gems valued at USD 190,000, that includes a ruby and diamond jewelry set, valued separately at USD 132,000. Other gifts from King Abdullah were a marble ornament adorned with miniature gold palm trees and camels, diamond earrings for the President’s daughters worth $ 7000 each, and a Jaeger-LeCoultre brass clock.
Cost: The total value of all the gifts that King Abdullah heaped on President Obama, the First Lady and her two daughters is over 300,000 dollars USD.
7. The Statue of Liberty
The great Statue of Liberty that stands as a welcoming beacon on the shores of New York commemorates the friendship between the French and the Americans. Designed by eminent designer Bartholdi, the Statue of Liberty stands 151 feet high, and stands for liberty, justice and freedom.
The statue was a gift to the United States from the people of France. The figure represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom bearing a torch and a stone tablet on which the American Declaration of Independence is inscribed. A broken chain lies at her feet, denoting the breaking of the chains of slavery and subjugation.
Cost: The statue of Liberty cost the French USD $530,300 to build. The base cost about $280,000, most of which was donated by American public.
6. The Taylor-Burton Diamond
Elizabeth Taylor was given many costly gifts by her erstwhile husband Richard Burton. However, in 1972, Burton got her a 40th birthday gift that surpassed all of his other gifts. The 69.42-carat pear-shaped diamond that was gifted came from a rough stone found in South Africa. Cartier jewelers purchased the diamond for USD $1,050,000. The “Taylor-Burton” diamond was displayed by Cartier in New York and Chicago even after it was sold to Burton. Elizabeth Taylor auctioned the diamond for USD 5 million in 1978. The present value of this diamond is not known.
Cost: The Taylor-Burton diamond cost Richard Burton over a million dollars USD.
5. Beyonce Knowles’s Ring
Singer Beyonce Knowles received a stunning 18-carat flawless diamond set in platinum, presently valued at over $5 million. Designed by jeweler Lorraine Schwartz, the ring is one of a kind that’s been insured or an equal amount. The same designer has created pieces for Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez. Beyonce, however, also has a $5,000 imitation ring that she wears in the public, for safety.
Cost: Rapper Jay-Z paid 5 million dollars USD for the 18-carat engagement diamond that graces his wife Beyonce’s ring finger.
4. Roman Abramovich’s Sculpture
One of the richest men in the world, Roman Abramovich paid around $14 million on a bronze sculpture for his girlfriend. The sculpture is by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti and is called “Femme de Venise”. Apart from this, the billionaire is reputed to have spent $60 million in a month buying expensive pieces of art for his girlfriend. His other extravagant gifts to her include villa in Colorado and two paintings by Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon for $120 million.
Cost: The sculpture cost around $14 million.
3. The Orlov Diamond
The Russian empress Catherine the Great lavished gifts on Count Grigory Orlov, a military commander. She gifted him 800 serfs, built a magnificent palace for him, and bought him the Gatchina country estate near St Petersburg. In return, the Count gave her unique diamond that was half as big as a pigeon’s egg, in 1798. The diamond was named the Orlov and was incorporated into her scepter. The Orlov is considered priceless, as no value has been placed on it yet. The Orlov diamond weighs 198.62 carats and is of a blue-green color.
Cost: The Orlov diamond cost 400,000 Russian Rubles in 1798, a very princely sum indeed.
2. The Kohinoor Diamond
Originally found in Andhra Pradesh in India several centuries ago, the Kohinoor is considered the largest diamond ever found. Over time, this diamond has belonged to literally monarch that ruled India, before finally falling into British hands. The British defeated Maharajah Dhulip Singh of Punjab, a descendent of the great king Ranjit Singh and claimed the Kohinoor as the spoils of war. However, it was later arranged that the diamond should be gifted to the then British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth, by Maharajah Dhulip Singh himself. It was a reluctant gift indeed, but history now records it as a gift. Today, the once 186 1/16 carats stone weight less than half its original size. At one point, the Kohinoor was valued at the expense equaling the maintenance of half the world for a day.
Cost: Since the Kohinoor diamond’s monetary value was never documented in those days, we don’t have a clear idea as to its then cost. This diamond is considered priceless. However, the current incarnation of the Kohinoor diamond is the most important part of the British Royal Crown jewels, whose total worth at present is between £10bn and £12.7bn. Since the Kohinoor is the main focal point of this collection, the value of the diamond itself must be in billions of pounds.
1. The Taj Mahal
The beautiful Taj Mahal has been hailed over the centuries as the everlasting embodiment of true love. This breathtaking structure is constructed entirely of white marble and is a real to watch in the moonlight. Built by the Emperor Shah Jahan to celebrate his love for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj is mute testament to the lengths a person will go to declare their love and devotion.
Mumtaz Mahal, a Persian princess was Emperor Shah Jahan’s one true love. She died when she was 39 years while giving birth to the couple’s 14th child. Her death shattered the great emperor, who built this lasting monument, a mausoleum more beautiful than any the world had seen before, to honor her last wish. Construction began in 1632 and it took 22 long years, and 20,000 workers and craftsmen to complete the mammoth mausoleum.
Cost: The total cost towards building this great monument is estimated to be about 32 million Indian Rupees at that time (1653), which would be 710,000 USD approximately.